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The Idea

September 23, 2006

So, it’s 10:19 on a Friday night and I’m in front of the computer again. I spend a lot of time here. Lately I spend a lot of time here because I’ve become obsessed with this idea.

I’ve always been fascinated with search, and have always wanted to start a business around it, but I never could think of something truly unique that wasn’t already being done better than I could do it myself. Like many people, over the past couple of years I’ve also become fascinated with blogs, wikis, social networking sites, etc. One night about 8 or 9 months ago, right before bed, an idea popped into my head that I haven’t been able to remove.

The product of that idea is Bessed, a human-powered search site built on WordPress. It’s not quite a search engine, not quite a directory, not quite a wiki, and, really, not quite a blog.

Here’s how it works: Each blog “post” is actually a search topic/keyword/category. Our Bessed editors seed the topic with 5 or 6 of the best sites for that search, then we open it up to you for comments. Use the comments section to tell us what other sites should be included for that particular topic, what should be excluded, what should be higher or lower in the rankings, or just leave a comment about the topic in general.

While our Bessed editors ultimately control the search results, the comments from visitors play a crucial role in determining what those results should be, and how they should be ranked.

We call it “search without the spam.” And the equation to get there is simple:

Search Results + Searcher Feedback = Better Search Results

So we’re not Google, we’re not Wikipedia, we’re not Digg–we’re a hybrid that has echoes of all those things.

Bessed is something different, something I hope is different enough–and interesting enough–that people will use it to search for what they want while also helping it reach its full potential by contributing their comments. In some cases, I hope they’ll use it as a meeting place to talk about a topic of interest to them.

All right, my son’s got soccer tomorrow morning, so I should get to bed. I’m looking forward to fleshing out our business plan in this blog, and I’ll be grateful for any constructive comments you have along the way–on the idea itself, its feasibility, our progress, my sanity, etc.

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